Monday, February 4, 2008

YouTube Adventure

As I explore the intersections of Youtube and Education, I begin by looking at the ways Youtube has been used by family members. First up is my middle child, Daniel.

Last June Dan graduated from high school. He and two friends spent their early post-school energy making money and planning a train trip across Canada, down the eastern seaboard of the US, as far south as Austin, Texas, then west to California, north along the west coast and home again to Victoria B.C. filming as they went.

Youtube entered the picture before they left home. Their pre-adventure trailer was created in the wilds of Central Saanich (i.e. the high school field) and gives the flavour of their mindset and intentions. What I loved about the whole process was that for this generation documenting their adventure was almost as important as having the adventure. One of the ways I see Youtube as an educational tool is as a vehicle of expression. An incredible amount of creativity is unleashed when you offer students the opportunity to create films. The sky is the limit. I'm thinking of high school here, but of course almost all ages could use the technology that keeps getting easier and easier to use. (Yes, I know, hard to believe it's Stephanie saying this). For the net-generation, using technology is second nature, not intimidating in the slightest.

So, even though I say :
YES, the creative expression opportunity Youtube offers is great
AND I think getting useful feedback is helpful
STILL I know that lots of Youtube stuff is awful, so for an educator's purposes Teachertube is a better place to spend time.

Another Youtube (guilty?) pleasure is the link to the Evolution of Dance. This is one of those comedy bits that is so clever and funny that it entertains both our kids and us. The fact that the very talented comedian/dance/inspirational speaker, Judson Laipply, looks so much like my brother-in-law is just a complete bonus.

Another perspective, offered by my oldest son, Thomas, is that a lot of the comments on Youtube are nasty, racist, sexist, etc. This may not be the place to post for the younger set, for all kinds of reasons.


Jennifer said...

I LOVED THIS! Made me cry I was laughing so hard.


Val said...

Hi Steph:
I love how you bring your kids into your learning. It is a wonderful family bonding time and I bet your kids love 'teaching' mom new things. This week I asked my neice and nephew (20+) for advice, information on Facebook. When I sent a 'will you be my friend' request I was sure to include I'm not trying to be nosey or get in your space (rrr), I'm simply trying to find out from experts (your generation) all the ins and outs. All three sent back such nice messages...Auntie Val this is so cool, in no time you will be showing us technology, wish I was there etc. I find this easy or this, try this...etc. It really is great for bridging that generation gap that was mentioned in Growing up Digital.

The Evolution of Dance - FUNNY - wow does that guy have stamina. Talk about a walk down memory lane.
Thanks for adding enjoyment to my evening.

elizabeth said...

Steph, The way you are learning from your kids is exactly what we must all continue to do in our teaching worlds as well (as I think you mentioned in a previous post). I think what Val says about bridging the generation gap is also so true. When we ask young people to teach us, we validate their learning and we model lifelong learning at the same time.

Ronda said...


I greatly appreciate the insights you are sharing with us from your children's experiences with web 2.0technologies. Your son's video (which by the way, was fantasic!) really emphasizes the creative outlet and personal-voice videosharing provides our students.


Linda Morgan said...

Nice to have older offspring to help you on your tech journey.....there could be a market niche for some enterprising young geeks out there - helping tutor less experienced tech students.